Huntington America's fat capital

With almost 40 per cent of its population classed as obese, the riverside city of 50,000 led the nation in a survey by the polling company Gallup. Photo / Thinkstock
With almost 40 per cent of its population classed as obese, the riverside city of 50,000 led the nation in a survey by the polling company Gallup. Photo / Thinkstock

Huntington, West Virginia, has been awarded the dubious mantle of America's fattest city, as new research found that the proportion of obese US citizens grew again last year to 27 per cent.

With almost 40 per cent of its population classed as obese, the riverside city of 50,000 led the nation in a survey by the polling company Gallup.

The fittest Americans were found in Boulder, Colorado, where just over 12 per cent of the residents of the sports-mad university community were classed as obese.

Of Americans as a whole, just 35 per cent are considered to be of normal weight, according to the survey. It showed a 1 per cent rise in obesity from 26 per cent in 2012, while a further 35 per cent were classed as overweight.

Boulder, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, was the only US metropolitan area to achieve an obesity rate below 15 per cent last year, according to the research.

Gallup pointed out that the 10 most obese cities in the 2013 survey were mainly lower-income, blue-collar and either in the South, where eating and exercising habits are traditionally less healthy than northern or west coast states, or in the North in areas that have suffered post-industrial decline.

Huntington is considered part of America's "Rust Belt", the central band of the country that once boomed on the back of heavy industry, but suffered periods of steep decline in recent decades.

Chef Jamie Oliver established a nutrition and cookery programme in Huntington when he was filming his Food Revolution series in 2009.

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- Daily Telegraph UK

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